While most everyone understands that there are different types of film and theatre, comparatively few extend that belief to dance.

 

With the Canada Dance Festival kicking off Friday, artistic director Brian Webb wants people to look at dance differently.

 

“I want people to understand the huge variety of how each of us can express ourselves in our own individual way,” said Webb. “Canadian artists are as diverse as our population.”

 

The festival, which began in 1987 and is held every other year, is one of the largest dance festivals in the world.


While dancers are coming from as far as the United States and Europe, the festival aims to show the face of Canada through dance, said Webb.


Canadian dance grow is growing, he said, partly in thanks to young artists from culturally diverse communities.


The goal of the festival, said Webb, “is to present the very best in Canadian contemporary dance.


“Contemporary dance is one of Canada’s largest cultural exports,” he said.


The festival lineup is eclectic and includes everything from ballet to contemporary dance to break dancing.


Running from June 4 to 12, the festival, which is held at venues including the National Arts Centre, the Arts Court, the University of Ottawa and the Shenkman Arts Centre, includes ballets by Guillaume Cote (“someone who likes Classical ballet will know his name,” Webb said) and Peter Quanz, and also features returning artists Wen Wei Dance and the Beijing Modern Dance Company and dance legends Louise Lecavalier and Benoit Lachambre.


“I try to pick dance that makes me look at the medium a little differently,” said Webb, “dance that makes me feel alive.


“It’s always about the adventure of the new.”